Tiger spotted in Palamu Reserve after 3 years
Earlier, the sighting of a tiger was reported in November 2021 in the Baresand area, but it could not be captured, either on camera or by a personal camera phone.
RANCHI: In a major relief to the Jharkhand forest department, a tiger was sighted directly by its officials in Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR) after at least three years. Notably, according to the report on the Status of Tigers in India, released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019, there were no tigers in PTR.
Earlier, the sighting of a tiger was reported in November 2021 in the Baresand area, but it could not be captured, either on camera or by a personal camera phone. The Palamu Tiger Reserve, which is spread over an area of about 1,230 sq km, was made a tiger reserve in 1973 and had a good number of the animal, which came down to three in the 2014 census and zero in the latest report.
Elated with the sighting of the wild cat, PTR Director Kumar Ashutosh informed that as many as 40 trap cameras have been installed and more than 30 trackers have been deployed to keep a close eye on it. Deputy Director Brajesh Jena himself has been camping in the Kutku Range of PTR to protect it from villagers and poachers.
“It was sighted for the first time on Friday by one of our staff and I visited the place today and took photographs and video footage of the tiger. It is a healthy male tiger, which is about 8-9 years of age, and has also been killing and feeding on the cattle in the last two days,” said the PTR Director. They have been convincing the villagers to keep away from it and ensuring that they will be compensated as per the norms in case the tiger kills their cattle, he added.
According to the PTR Director, the tiger has migrated from the bordering areas of Chhattisgarh, which has less forest cover as compared to the PTR in Jharkhand. Moreover, the region also has less number of villages than the other side of the state borders which makes it suitable for wild animals, he said.
“Kutku Range has been a tiger corridor between Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh for ages, but the presence of the animal was missing for the past few years. Now, tigers are returning back to the track which is really a good sign,” said the PTR Director.
It appears that the corridor between Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh has been revived once again due to the changed circumstances on both sides of the border and tigers are finding abode in PTR, he added. According to the PTR Director, the images and evidence of the tiger will be sent to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for its inclusion in the Tiger Census report, which is expected to be released in July this year.
Notably, according to the 2006 census, there were 10 tigers in Jharkhand in 2010, which came down to three in 2014 and the latest report brings the total number of the big vats to five. Beginning with 22 tigers in 1972, the PTR saw its heydays in 1995 when it had 71 big cats.
But then the fall began and only three tigers remained in 2014. However, the report on the Status of Tigers in India released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019, suggested that there were no tigers in PTR.